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Brewing a wheat beer, suggestions

So I am interested in brewing a wheat beer for my second batch. I want to put a little spin on it and add elderberries. Any suggestions for a kit, recipe, grains, hops, etc.

Thanks in advance!

I would use an American wheat style beer with a neutral yeast. Our host sells elderberry purée which you can add to secondary.

How you add it really depends on what you want and how you’ll package the beer. The sugar will ferment out leaving the acidity/tartness of fruit. You can save the sweet sugars by adding potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate before adding the purée but you HAVE to keg.

What if I wanted to do the wheat beer you suggested and then added dried elderberries during the second fermentation in a bag to soak. What is the purpose of the sulfite and sorbate? Do I have to keg no matter what?

Use a blow off tube! Wheat beer fermentations can be vigorous

I have a simple American wheat recipe (basically the Bluemoon clone recipe from HBT forum) which lends itself very well to fruit additions in secondary. So far I’ve tried Blueberries, Raspberries, Cranberries, Apricot(extract), Grapefruit (juice) . I have not tried elderberries, but that sounds interesting.
4 lb Red wheat, 4lb pale ale, 1lb Vienna, 1 lb flaked oats. About 20 IBUs of noble hops. For the original ‘Orange Moon’ I add orange zest and coriander seeds. For the blueberry and raspberry versions I add lemon zest and juice. The grapefruit version uses grapefruit zest and I dryhopped with Centennial. US-05 yeast. If needed I do backsweeten with a little Xylose at bottling.

The sulfite and sorbate prevent fermentation starting again. This would require kegging.

I’ve never used dried elderberries so I can’t really comment.

I’ve also never used artificial sweeteners so I can’t comment on that. You can find some info on using them on this forum.

So the sulfite and sorbate additives require the kegging or the adding elderberries?

Sulfite and sorbate prevent the yeast from fermenting additional sugars, which means you won’t be able to bottle condition to get your beer carbed. You’ll have to force carb it in a keg. Adding elderberries will add sugar, which the yeast will ferment unless you add the sulfite and sorbate to prevent it.

Nothing wrong with adding fruit and letting the sugars ferment, but once the sweetness is gone you’ll be left with acidity and tannins from the elderberries. So it all depends what you’re trying to achieve.

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If your using dried elderberries to be honest it’s not going to add alot of fermentible sugars enough to worry about using Sulfite and Sorbate. Depending on what your wanting to achieve by adding them you got two options. For aroma and color and very little taste add to the end of the boil of your wheat beer. 4 to 6 ounces is a good place to start. Option two is adding them either towards the end of fermentation or in the secondary. This will add more flavor and and aroma. To prepare them use a little sauce pan and and just enough water to cover them and pasteurize them at 170 degrees for 20 minutes. Since there is not alot of fermentible sugar in the dried elderberries you can add some raisins with them half and half. For recipes any American wheat recipe will work. I recommend a Belgian wit myself. They actually call them ink berries and might be the first brewers to add them to beer. Also you might consider adding them to a Saison they work realy well in this style

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What if they are not dried, the elderberries I currently have are frozen.

That sounds like a nice recipe I’d pitch a saison yeast to that

Any specific saison on the Northern Brewer site? There are a lot of choices so I wasn’t sure which one to get. This one was at the top when I searched

Recommendation for which yeast?

Frozen will work fine too still will not add a bunch of fermentible sugar unless you got a super large quantity. I would still pasteurize them my self before adding them.

I realy like Wyeast 3724 it’s nice balance little fruit cherry/peach and finishes dry. Also T-58 is great yeast to under rated by alot of brewers its little spicy fruity apples peache cherry peppery bubble gum / banana. Great yeast for a Saison. Lately I been doing a yeast blend of Wyeast 3724 and Wlp 565 together these two yeast create a perfect balance of spicy fruity and peppery that makes a beautiful Saison

One of the items recommended is a yeast starter, is that something I really need or can it be done another way?

Most ever beer I brew I do a starter for. Except with dry yeast. But Belgian styles can benefit some time doing a under pitch of yeast allowing different kinds of esters to form. If you do the blend of Wyeast 3724 and Wlp 565 i don’t make a starter for them together and just pitch them both in the fermenter at same time

Interesting…does that character come through on repitch? Or does one yeast predominate? I like 3724 also and have a cherry saison with Wyeast 3724 in primary right now.

I thought they were the same strain

How do I do a yeast starter?

Never mind, found some stuff on YouTube unless you have better examples of guides.

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